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Solicitor meeting clients
Course type
Certificate  

Certificate

  • Qualification unique to The Open University.
  • Focus on a particular profession or subject area.
  • Study for interest or career development.
  • A wide range of subjects and levels.
Credits
90  

Credits

  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
How long it takes
Part time – 2 years
Full time – 1 year
Time limit – 6 years
Study method
Distance learning
Entry requirements
Find out more about
Entry requirements

Professional Certificate in Legal Practice: SQE1

Course code: S36

The professional certificate in legal practice provides the opportunity to develop functioning legal knowledge aligned to the national Solicitors Qualifying Examination (specifically SQE1). By the end of your certificate you'll have had the opportunity to study a range of subject topics examined by SQE1, apply your legal knowledge to real life scenarios and gain experience in answering multiple choice questions. This provides a foundation if you're planning to prepare for SQE1.

  • Develops your functioning legal knowledge aligned to SQE1.
  • Provides opportunities to practice SQE1-style multiple choice questions.
  • Gain professional practical skills, behaviours and commercial awareness through authentic, simulated scenarios.
  • Develops your knowledge and skills towards becoming a solicitor in England and Wales.
Course type
Certificate  

Certificate

  • Qualification unique to The Open University.
  • Focus on a particular profession or subject area.
  • Study for interest or career development.
  • A wide range of subjects and levels.
Credits
90  

Credits

  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
How long it takes
Part time – 2 years
Full time – 1 year
Time limit – 6 years
Study method
Distance learning
Entry requirements

Find out more about Entry requirements

This professional certificate has one stage comprising 90 credits. You’ll study three 30-credit modules, each covering aspects of the subjects assessed in SQE1.

You’ll begin by studying the legal system, public law, EU law, criminal law and litigation and solicitors accounts. The second module covers property and private client law (including property law, trusts and wills and probate). You'll complete the certificate by studying business law and dispute resolution (including contract law, tort law and civil litigation). Some of the foundations of legal knowledge (contract, tort, criminal, public) are summarised as a refresher rather than taught in detail.


We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time. If we make changes to this qualification, we’ll update this page as soon as possible. Once you’ve registered or are studying this qualification, where practicable, we’ll inform you in good time of any upcoming changes. If you’d like to know more about the circumstances in which the University might make changes to the curriculum, see our Academic Regulations or contact us. This description was last updated on 19 April 2023.


Accessibility

We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. The Professional Certificate in Legal Practice: SQE1 uses a variety of study materials and has the following elements:

  • studying online and with some printed resources. Online learning resources may include websites, audio/video media clips, and interactive activities such as online quizzes
  • online tutorials
  • using mathematical and scientific expressions, notations and associated techniques
  • working in a group with other students
  • practical work
  • finding external/third party material online
  • using technology for research purposes involving access to catalogues and databases online
  • continuous and end-of-module assessment in the form of computer-marked assignments, more substantive assessments, and an end-of module assessment
  • engagement with learning and assessment within a pre-determined schedule or timetable – time management will be needed during your studies and the University will help you to develop these skills throughout your degree.

For more detailed information, see the Accessibility Statements on individual module descriptions. If you feel you may need additional support with any of the elements above, visit Disability support  to find more about what we offer.


Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

This qualification develops your learning in four main areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding.
  • Cognitive skills.
  • Practical and professional skills.
  • Key skills.

The level and depth of your learning gradually increases as you work through the qualification. You’ll be supported throughout by the OU’s unique style of teaching and assessment – which includes a personal tutor to guide and comment on your work; top quality course texts; elearning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.

Read the detailed learning outcomes here

On completion

On successfully completing this course, we’ll award you our Professional Certificate in Legal Practice: SQE1.

International recognition

If you intend to use your Open University qualifications to seek work or undertake further study outside the UK, we recommend checking whether your intended qualification will meet local requirements for your chosen career. Find out more about international recognition of Open University qualifications.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the qualification-specific regulations below and the academic regulations that are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website. 


To study this qualification, you need to have completed a bachelors degree (ordinary or honours) that is based on English and Welsh law which includes the seven foundations of legal knowledge. Your degree must have been awarded by a UK Higher Education Institution (HEI) or other recognised degree awarding body, or an equivalent qualification from an overseas HEI.

Alternatively, if you are studying for any OU degree, other than the Bachelor of Laws (R81) or Bachelor of Laws (graduate entry) (R82), you must have either studied:

  • a minimum of 120 credits of Law (which includes W211 and W212), or
  • W202 and W203.

The certificate is not available to any OU LLB student who has taken the SQE route at OU level 3.

If you meet this entry requirement, please complete the application form. We will need your completed application by 31 August 2023. Applications received after this date will not be processed in time for the October 2023 start.

How much time do I need?

  • Most of our students study part time, completing up to 60 credits a year.
  • This will usually mean studying for 16–18 hours a week.
Find out if you have enough time to study with our time planner

How much will it cost in England?

We believe cost shouldn’t be a barrier to achieving your potential. That’s why we work hard to keep the cost of study as low as possible and have a wide range of flexible ways to pay to help spread the cost.

  • Fees are paid on a module-by-module basis – you won't have to pay for the whole of your qualification up front.
  • A qualification comprises a series of modules, each with an individual fee. Added together, they give you the total cost.
  • Most OU students study part time at a rate of 60 credits a year.
  • Our current fee for 60 credits is £3,462*.
  • Our current fee for 120 credits, which is equivalent to a year's full-time study, is £6,924*.
  • At current prices, the total cost of your qualification would be £5,193*.

*The fee and funding information provided here is valid for courses starting before 31 July 2024. Fees normally increase annually. For further information about the University's fee policy, visit our Fee Rules.

Additional costs

Study costs

There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as set books, a computer and internet access.

If your income is not more than £25,000 or you are in receipt of a qualifying benefit, you might be eligible for help with some of these costs after you start studying.


How will I study this course?

With our unique approach to distance learning, you can study from home, work, or on the move.

You’ll have some assessment deadlines to meet, but otherwise you’ll be free to study at the times that suit you, fitting your learning around work, family, and social life.

For each of your modules, you’ll use either just online resources or a mix of online and printed materials.

Each module you study will have a module website, with:

  • a week-by-week study planner, giving you a step-by-step guide through your studies
  • course materials such as reading, videos, recordings, and self-assessed activities
  • module forums for discussions and collaborative activities with other students
  • details of each assignment and their due dates
  • a tutorial booking system, online tutorial rooms, and your tutor’s contact details
  • online versions of some printed module materials and resources.

If you have additional needs, we can also provide most module materials in alternative formats. Find out more about materials on our accessibility webpage.


Tutor support

You’ll have a tutor for each module, who will introduce themselves before the module begins.

Throughout the module, they will:

  • mark your assignments and give feedback to help you improve
  • guide you to learning resources
  • support you, whether with general study skills or help with a specific topic.

Tutorials

Tutorials usually take place online, and they’re always optional.

Online tutorials are live presentations with module tutors in dedicated online tutorial rooms, and are sometimes recorded.


Assessment

Our assessments are all designed to reinforce your learning and help you show your understanding of the topics. The mix of assessment methods will vary between modules.

Computer-Marked Assignments

  • Usually a series of online, multiple-choice questions.

Tutor-Marked Assignments

  • You’ll have a number of these throughout each module, each with a submission deadline.
  • They can be made up of essays, questions, experiments or something else to test your understanding of what you have learned.
  • Your tutor will mark and return them to you with detailed feedback.

End-of-Module Assessments

  • The final, marked piece of work on most modules.
  • Modules with an end of module assessment won’t usually have an exam.

Exams

  • Some modules end with an exam. You’ll be given time to revise and prepare.
  • You’ll be given your exam date at least 5 months in advance.
  • Most exams take place remotely, and you will complete them at home or at an alternative location.
  • If a module requires you to take a face-to-face exam, this will be made clear in the module description, and you will be required to take your exam in person at one of our exam centres.

Progressing to a point where I felt more comfortable writing my assignments, and having my scores reflecting that, made me quite happy because it showed the hard work was being rewarded.

Patrick ‘Ricky’ Skene, BSc (Hons) Sport, Fitness and Coaching

Other support and resources

Throughout your studies, you’ll have access to our subject-specific Student Support Teams.

They’ll help you with any general questions about your study and updates to your OU account.

To help with your studies, you’ll also have access to:

  • our online library, with high-quality online resources to support your study
  • other university libraries in the UK and Ireland
  • the online Help Centre, which has general information about OU study and support, along with study skills advice
  • free Microsoft Office 365 software
  • IT and computing support from our Computing Helpdesk.

Find out more about student support and being a part of the OU community.

Skills for career development

You’ll develop key legal skills which will assist you if you wish to enter a legal career.  In addition, the key skills of reading and assimilating complex materials, critical thinking and analysis, communication and problem solving are taught and developed through the modules. You’ll also develop your digital literacy, online research and reflective professional development skills. You will therefore have a valuable set of skills to equip you for postgraduate study and a wide range of careers.

Career relevance

The certificate is aligned to, and covers a range of topics specified in, the syllabus of SQE1. There will be plenty of opportunities to practice SQE1-style multiple choice questions throughout the certificate. This will provide a foundation if you wish to sit the SQE1 examinations and will support the development of your professional legal identity and help to further your ambition to become a solicitor in England and Wales.

Exploring your options

Once you register with us (and for up to three years after you finish your studies), you’ll have full access to our careers service for a wide range of information and advice. This includes online forums, website, interview simulation, vacancy service as well as the option to email or speak to a careers adviser. Some areas of the careers service website are available for you to see now, including help with looking for and applying for jobs. You can also read more general information about how OU study enhances your career.

In the meantime if you want to do some research around this qualification and where it might take you, we’ve put together a list of relevant job titles as a starting point. Some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your qualification:

  • solicitor
  • paralegal
  • lawyer
  • legal executive
  • conveyance
  • will writer.

Register for this course

To register for this course, please refer to our entry requirements and registration information. Online registration is not available. 

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